Remanded And Ignored

Alex Dagarti

The story of Alex Dagarti is a sad one. The abandoned adult citizen of this country like others who suffer similar predicaments was at the Ankaful Prison for eight years not knowing when he would be taken to court for his case to be heard let alone regain his freedom.

He was arrested for alleged rape. Since his arrest he received no family member during the prescribed visiting days. His case can be described as inhumanity perpetrated by the state against her citizen.

A few weeks ago, he benefited from the ‘Justice For All’ programme as he was let out to the free world. The sigh of relief he heaved can only be imagined. Only he can describe the sense of elation that he felt at the moment he was pronounced free. It is even possible that he thought it was a dream, a good one of course.

Whoever engineered the programme must be congratulated for the sense of humanity that it contains.

Unfortunately the wasted years are gone forever; never to be recovered. We wish to ask that the appropriate authorities consider an extended ‘Justice For All’ visits to the prisons just so that persons on remand are not forgotten as Alex Dagarti was.

The processes leading to trials and imprisonment require a massive overhaul because of the many discrepancies which sometimes lead to innocent persons enduring avoidable inconveniences or even death in prison.

The Judicial wing of the law enforcement system could do something towards expediting work on cases and ensuring that these are not abandoned midstream.  The same goes with the Attorney General’s Department whose advice sometimes takes too long in coming. This is attributable to the dearth of attorneys in the department – a challenge which also needs addressing. Justice delayed is really justice denied and for a country which prides itself for being a leader in upholding the rule of law, this feature should not be allowed to stain our pedigree.

Sometimes detectives handling cases in police stations complain about logistics in advancing their assignments, a deficiency which can sometimes lead to justice being denied suspects.

We would not be managing a just society when people are simply thrown into jail because their cases have not been heard – a shortfall created by shortfalls in our law enforcement system.

Alex Dagarti was only lucky. Others were not as lucky having lost their lives in captivity. Humanity should be ingrained in all that we do.

It will be curious to find out what led to Alex Dagarti enduring the predicament he did. His case represents countless others in the various prisons in the country.  He had been technically forgotten by a detective handling his case. The plain-clothed cop could have been transferred to another part of the country with nobody ready to continue with Alex Dagarti’s case.

Perhaps if Alex Dagarti had come from a rich background, he would not have undergone the woes he did in prison. What a system!